Margo Timmins

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Margo Timmins
Margo Timmins.jpg
Timmins, with the Cowboy Junkies in Japan, July 30, 1988
Background information
Born (1961-01-27) January 27, 1961 (age 58)
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
OriginToronto, Ontario, Canada
Years active1985–present
Associated actsCowboy Junkies

Margo Timmins (born January 27, 1961)[1] is the lead vocalist of the Canadian band Cowboy Junkies.[2] She is the sister of Michael Timmins, the band's lead guitarist, and Peter Timmins, the band's drummer. Her ethereal vocals, paired with the band's spare and quiet songs performed at a languid pace, combine to create the band's sound.[3][4]

Early life and education[edit]

Timmins was born and spent most of her childhood in Montreal as one of six children of Barbara and John Timmins.[5] Her father, John Timmins, who worked in the sales and marketing divisions of several aviation companies, passed his enthusiasm for music to his children.[5] Timmins also had access to her brother Michael's extensive record collection.[6] She was encouraged to sing at home,[7] in school plays and pageants[8][9] and at camp.[5]

In 1977, the Timmins family moved from Montreal to Toronto.[5] They lived in Etobicoke in the west-end of the city[9] and Margo attended Richview Collegiate Institute.[citation needed] After graduating from high school, Timmins and her brother Michael explored the punk music scene on Toronto's Queen Street West. When Michael started his first band, the Hunger Project, she helped out, taking the tickets, and carrying the equipment.[10] She supported herself by doing clerical work for her father and performing chores around the house.[9]

In her mid-20s, Timmins began studying social work at university,[6] and grew her hair long.[11]


Timmins in a 2013 concert at Barbican; visible are the flowers she arranged before the concert to mitigate her stage fright

In 1985, was asked by her brother Michael Timmins to be the vocalist for his new band, Cowboy Junkies. It took her a while to get used to her role as the lead singer, something she hadn't done before.[3][12] After a shaky start, which sometimes saw her singing with her back turned,[13] she gradually became more comfortable singing in front of an audience.[7] Timmins continued to struggle with stage fright for some time, overcoming it with the help of a pre-show ritual: ironing her dress, examining the set list, arranging flowers for the stage, and sipping tea.[14]

Timmins singing at a Cowboy Junkies concert in Philadelphia, March 2012

Timmins met Graham Henderson, an entertainment lawyer, in the mid-1980s after he heard the band's demo tapes and went to see them at Toronto's nightclub/restaurant The Rivoli. While he was working to get the Junkies a deal with BMG in the U.S., Henderson and Timmins started dating.[9] The pair married in 1988. Henderson has been a partner at the law firm of McCarthy Tétrault[citation needed] and served as vice-president of business affairs and e-commerce at Universal Music Canada until 2000 when he was named president of the Canadian Recording Industry Association (CRIA).[15] During the recording of the Cowboy Junkies CD One Soul Now, they went through the process of adopting a son.[16]

Timmins continued to tour with Cowboy Junkies. She sang "O Canada" at the 1994 Major League Baseball All-Star Game in Pittsburgh, while Meat Loaf sang "The Star-Spangled Banner" at the same game. In 2009, she released a solo album of covers Margo's Corner: Ty Tyrfu Sessions, Volume 1.


Timmins lives in between tours in Toronto with her family,[17] or at their 100-year-old farmhouse in Grey County, Ontario.[16][18] The couple has had two Rhodesian Ridgebacks and a cat.[16][19]


In 2016, she was made a member of the Order of Ontario.[20]


  1. ^ "Cowboy Junkies Biography". Retrieved 2015-07-04.
  2. ^ "Q and A: Margo Timmins". June 29, 2007. Archived from the original on November 4, 2012. Retrieved July 4, 2015.
  3. ^ a b Huey, Steve. "Cowboy Junkies Biography". AllMusic. Retrieved April 26, 2017.
  4. ^ Owen McNallyOwen McNally. "Vocalist Margo Timmins Explains The Cowboy Junkies' Sound ". Hartford Courant, July 2, 2016
  5. ^ a b c d "When the Cowboy Junkies play, mourning becomes electric | Saturday Night | October 1991". Retrieved July 4, 2015.
  6. ^ a b Lanham, Tom (June 12, 1981). "Cowboy Junkies | The Sunday Chronicle". JoyZine. Retrieved July 4, 2015.
  7. ^ a b Carù, Paolo (November 1999). "The Slow, Sad Waltzes of Margo Timmins". Buscadero (207). Archived from the original on February 1, 2002.
  8. ^ Cocks, Jay. "Rattling the Neighborhood | Time Magazine | December 5, 1988". Retrieved July 4, 2015.
  9. ^ a b c d Stoute, Lenny. "The Agony and the Ecstasy | Network | Feb/March 1990". Retrieved July 4, 2015.
  10. ^ Doole, Kerry. "Brother Son, Sister Moon | Impact | January 1994". Retrieved July 4, 2015.
  11. ^ "Margo Timmins". People. Retrieved July 4, 2015.
  12. ^ "Cowboy Junkies Biography". April 26, 2007. Archived from the original on July 4, 2015. Retrieved July 4, 2015.
  13. ^ Engelhart, Tony. "Cowboy Junkies ...Still Hookied". Hybrid magazine. Retrieved July 4, 2015.
  14. ^ Press, Kevin. "Like a Rhinestone Cowboys |Venue | Summer 1996". Retrieved July 4, 2015.
  15. ^ "Cowboy Junkies". The Canadian Encyclopedia. Archived from the original on June 8, 2011. Retrieved April 26, 2017.
  16. ^ a b c Sweety, Jay (June 1, 2004). "Mystery Is a Farce". Paste. Retrieved May 22, 2014.
  17. ^ "Biography: Graham Henderson". CRIA | News. September 21, 2004. Archived from the original on February 19, 2005. Retrieved April 26, 2017.
  18. ^ Armstrong, Gene (February 16, 2006). "Attached to Songs". Tucson Weekly. Retrieved July 4, 2015.
  19. ^ Lanham, Tom (June 17, 2014). "Cowboy Junkies' Margo Timmins can do without social media". San Francisco Examiner. Retrieved April 26, 2017.
  20. ^ "The 2016 Appointees to the Order of Ontario". December 14, 2016.